Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Jumping for joy...Kirkus reviewed Troubleshooter and called it Potent!


A U.S. marshal’s 30-year search for a fellow Vietnam veteran who killed the love of his life may be nearing its conclusion in the author’s debut thriller.

Ezra “Hoot” Hooten’s transfer to Spokane, Wash., has nothing to do with a desire for a change of scenery and everything to do with the possibility of finding Norman Carpenter there. Norman, Hoot’s childhood friend, married Donna, the girl Hoot left behind before joining the Army. Norman was convicted of Donna’s murder and escaped custody years ago, but a chance encounter with unhappy wife and mother Angela, the spitting image of Donna, might finally help Hoot catch up to Norman and end the hunt that has long dominated the marshal’s life. Lindsey’s potent novel is dark, opening with Hoot under fire, his partner dead (the third in five years) and a nearby officer bleeding to death. Hoot is a curious but deeply flawed protagonist who blames himself as much as Norman for Donna’s death and becomes obsessed with the search for his former pal, which ultimately ruins his relationships with his ex-wife, Linda, and their children. The other characters have their own defects: Norman is a hit man who thinks beating up punks for hire is beneath him, and even Angela isn’t very likable, expressing no remorse over having left her kids just a couple of weeks before Christmas. Some readers may not appreciate the novel’s portrayal of women, who are typically depicted in physical terms, especially since Angela and her new lover, Liz, work as strippers (at a club where the three leads’ paths all converge). Hoot doesn’t even respect FBI agent Patricia Peyton, insinuating that affirmative action is the sole reason she has a job. But the men fare no better, in particular Norman, who seems to get progressively crazier in his desire to kill Angela, whom he eventually takes to calling Donna or, more to the point, “the woman…wearing Donna’s skin.” Flashbacks appear at random intervals in Hoot’s and Norman’s lives, usually involving their teen years and their stints in Vietnam, aptly revealing the love triangle (of sorts) with the two boys and Donna, as well as Norman’s descent into what some would consider madness.

Heavy in its despondence and bleakness but a story that readers are unlikely to forget.

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